Have you ever imagined appreciating precious cultural relics in a bustling and modern economic city? In the near future, this will become a surprising reality in Hong Kong, a city which has been dubbed a "cultural desert." [Special coverage]
Located on the harbor front of the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Hong Kong Palace Museum will occupy an area of around 10,000 square meters and provide local residents and international visitors with a wide range of cultural experiences, in collaboration with the Palace Museum in Beijing, also known as the Forbidden City.
The Hong Kong Palace Museum will be made up of exhibition galleries, activity rooms, a lecture theater, a souvenir shop and a restaurant. Permanent exhibitions will be set up to showcase relics on the history, culture and imperial life in the palace, using a selection of artifacts loaned by Beijing to impress visitors.
While the interior of the museum is set to be fascinating, its external design is also set to put it on the map. According to the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, the building will portray a contemporary expression of traditional Chinese visual culture merged with Hong Kong urban culture.
In fact, the idea behind the Hong Kong Palace Museum is based on a lengthy collaboration with Beijing's Palace Museum. Since 2012, Hong Kong's Leisure and Cultural Services Department has presented artifacts loaned by Beijing in different locations in the city, attracting 430,000 visitors, according to the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.
At the end of 2016, West Kowloon Cultural District signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Beijing's Palace Museum, which put into motion plans to found the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Earlier this year, authorities initiated a public consultation to collect local residents' views on the design, operation and programing of the museum.
Carrie Lam, currently the Chief Executive-elect of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), stated earlier this year that the founding of the museum was conducive to the development of the tourism and culture industries in Hong Kong SAR, and beneficial to the education of young people.
Stretching across 40 hectares of reclaimed land at Victoria Harbour, West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world, blending culture, art and education. Construction work on the district began in 2016.